Day 23: St. Paul—Our Kinda Town

Despite the heat/humidity and the fact that city driving is a bit tricky in the rig, we had a great day in St. Paul, our kinda town. We toured the sites, including Mickey’s Diner and The Fitzgerald Theater, familiar to anyone who is a Prairie Home Companion fan. Great architecture. We think we’ll have to come back and stay downtown and go to a live show sometime at The Fitz. Lisa thinks January would be good (for our birthdays)—that would certainly be a very different Minnesota experience.

Then we headed for another AND Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (the Food Network TV show) site: The Nook. The target for lunch was a Jucy Lucy. This food was sooooo good that I couldn’t be bothered to take a photo of it. We did snap a few photos on the phone whilst waiting for a table. Wednesday afternoon at 1PM and the place was packed. Understandably so—one of the best burgers ever. For Californians like us, accustomed to water conservation, we really liked the sign "Save Water. Drink Beer."

We were going to head back to our campground for a swim, but Lisa wanted to at least do a drive-by of the Mall of America, that retail behemoth and bastion of commerce in Bloomington, MN. Just driving by it made my skin crawl—it has parking for 20,000 cars! A train drops tourists off from the nearby airport right at one of the mall entrances. (Apparently the mall is a major destination for Chinese and, I think, Icelandic visitors, if I remember the recent Wall Street Journal article correctly.) At any rate, I know lots of people must love this mall, but I took a bad picture from the car window because I didn’t want to get any closer….

We did a little shopping for dog food and sundries, et al, and came back to camp. Thank goodness a breeze kicked up—made for a pleasant late afternoon. Time to fire up the barbie for dinner (chicken and veggie kabobs). We’re off early tomorrow for our longest segment yet (almost 400 miles) to get through Iowa quickly and onto the Omaha area. Friday holds social occasions—lunch with an old friend and dinner with a new friend.

We’re getting excited about making the turn back west on Saturday. After Omaha, we head to Oregon Trail country in western Nebraska and then Boulder, Colorado (another one of our kinds of places ;-) and the mountains again. Yay! Once we cross the Rockies, the mosquito problem goes way down!


  1. Thank you SO much for your visit. It was wonderful to see you, and so much fun to spend the day with you. In my excitement at simply having guests, I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was never a smoke break in the day. It totally slipped my mind to congratulate Julie on the leaving behind of that habit! Kudos!!
    And both of you LOOKED marvelous! Should've said that, too. It was at evening prayer, while reflecting on the great day, that I realized I had failed on all the major compliment-paying fronts. So sorry!
    It sounds like you had a good time in St. Paul. I'm glad to hear it. Sorry we couldn't keep the heat / humidity down for the rest of your stay in MN!
    I hope Nick did not suffer any ill effects from his smorgasbord of delectable delicacies--and I hope you got the lion's share of the bread, and not Nick!
    May peace (and good weather) follow you on the rest of your journey, back to California, and wherever life takes you next!
    Thanks, again, for stopping in.
    Much love --Aelred :-)

  2. Wheeeeeee! You're coming! You're coming!! I hope you enjoy the rolly polly Iowa countrysides because the drive through NE really does hurt a bit. My Pa suggested that you drive through it at night so you don't have to look at it. Hee hee. See you TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!